In a wider than expected decision, Matthew Hatton (40-4-2, 15 KO) successfully kept hold of his European welterweight title with a unanimous decision victory over Yuriy Nuzhnenko (30-2-1, 14 KO). The judges at ringside scored the fight 117-110 and 116-111 twice. The Boxing Tribune scored the fight 114-113 for Hatton.
Nuzhnenko caught Hatton cold in the opening round, knocking him down with a sweetly timed left hook. Hatton reacted well to the early pressure from the Ukrainian challenger, and began to take control of the fight in the middle rounds. But down the stretch, Nuzhnenko got himself back in contention as Hatton felt the effect of the early body shots from the challenger.
The fight was competitive throughout, but the scores didn’t reflect how close Nuzhnenko was to Hatton. There wasn’t much separating both fighters in terms of quality, and both are too limited to have any success at a higher level, despite Team Hatton attempting to elevate ‘Magic Man’ into third or fourth tier opposition.
Saul Alvarez is rumoured to be next in-line for Matthew Hatton, and I can only see one result. As hard as Hatton works in training and during the fight, Alvarez is just too good for him and should take him out early.
The poor scoring overshadows a decent Hatton performance and a competitive fight, which had back and forth action from the opening bell.